Iconic TV host Jerry Springer has sadly died, according to a report from TMZ. A family spokesperson told the outlet that Jerry was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and his health took a turn for the worse sometime this week. Springer passed in his home in the Chicago area. He was 79 years old.
Springer became part of the pop culture lexicon with the outrageous talk show The Jerry Springer Show. The drama-filled show became a hit after it pivoted away from political issues, which was its initial focus when it debuted in 1991. It also became known for guests with scandalous stories who would often get into fights as the audience cheered, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!”
The Jerry Springer Show was a massive success and aired 27 seasons with nearly 5,000 episodes. It finally went off the air in 2018.
What some fans of Springer may not know is that he was a politician before he became a household name. In 1970, he ran a failed campaign for US Congress and was elected to Cincinnati’s City Council a year later. By 1977 he was the city’s mayor, serving one term before working as a reporter at a local television station in the early 1980s. He made one more failed bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio. Despite his success with television journalism, Springer kept up with politics throughout his life and considered a run for the US Senate in 2004.
Springer also hosted shows like America’s Got Talent in 2007 and 2008 and hosted the Miss Universe Pageant in 2008. He even dipped his toes into musical theater, starring as Billy Flynn in the 2009 London production of the musical Chicago. Springer had some help thanks to his run on season 3 of Dancing with the Stars in 2006. His final TV appearance was on season 8 of The Masked Singer in 2022. Springer performed a Frank Sinatra classic while disguised as “The Beetle.” Check it out below. RIP Jerry Springer!